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Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons Learned from COVID-19

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Infectious Diseases, Chronic Diseases, and Disease Prevention".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 2983

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology, São Leopoldo Mandic Medical School, Campinas 13045-755, SP, Brazil
Interests: respiratory virus; arbovirus; epidemiology; emerging infectious diseases; infectious diseases; tropical diseases; infection; immunology of infectious diseases; infectious disease epidemiology; viral infection; vaccination; infectious disease transmission
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is preparing an important and timely Special Issue with the theme "Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons Learned from COVID-19", as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for robust mechanisms and global preparedness and responses to such public health crises.

In this Special Issue, a variety of research articles, reviews, and perspectives that cover different aspects related to pandemic preparedness and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic will be considered. The following are a few potential areas of focus that you may consider:

1. Epidemiology and Public Health Response:

Analyses of the spread and impact of COVID-19 in different regions, highlighting the effectiveness of various public health interventions and strategies.

Discussions of the role of testing, contact tracing, and quarantine measures in controlling the spread of the virus.

2. Healthcare Infrastructure and Capacity:

Examinations of how healthcare systems coped with the surge in cases, identifying areas wherein improvements are needed to handle future pandemics.

Explorations of the challenges faced by hospitals, healthcare workers, and the availability of medical supplies.

3. Vaccine Development and Distribution:

Investigations of the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines and the lessons that can be applied to future vaccine development.

Evaluations of global distribution strategies, equity concerns, and vaccine hesitancy issues.

4. Communication and Information Dissemination:

Assessments of the effectiveness of communication strategies in conveying accurate information to the public during a pandemic.

Explorations of how misinformation and fake news can hinder effective responses.

5. Global Collaboration and Preparedness:

Studies that highlight the importance of international collaboration and data sharing in pandemic preparedness.

Discussions of the role of organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and international treaties in coordinating responses.

6. Lessons Learned and Recommendations:

Summaries of key lessons that can be drawn from the COVID-19 pandemic to enhance preparedness for future pandemics.

Recommendations for policy makers, public health officials, and researchers on improving response strategies.

7. Ethical Considerations:

Explorations of the ethical dilemmas faced during the pandemic, such as the prioritization of limited resources and balancing individual rights with public health measures.

We encourage a diversity of perspectives and methodologies in the articles selected for this Special Issue. This will help create a comprehensive and well-rounded collection of insights into pandemic preparedness.

Prof. Dr. André Ricardo Ribas Freitas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • pandemic preparedness
  • COVID-19
  • epidemiology
  • public health
  • healthcare infrastructure
  • communication strategies
  • vaccine development
  • global collaboration
  • ethical considerations
  • lessons learned

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 346 KiB  
Article
Influence of Environmental Risk Exposure on the Determinants of COVID-19 Booster Vaccination in an Urban Thai Population
by Weerawat Ounsaneha, Orapin Laosee and Cheerawit Rattanapan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060745 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 470
Abstract
This study aimed to identify the influence of environmental risk exposure levels on the predictive factors of COVID-19 booster dose vaccination in an urban Thai population in the post-pandemic era. Six study locations, including the three provinces with the highest environmental risk levels [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify the influence of environmental risk exposure levels on the predictive factors of COVID-19 booster dose vaccination in an urban Thai population in the post-pandemic era. Six study locations, including the three provinces with the highest environmental risk levels and the three provinces with the lowest environmental risk levels, were selected by calculating the environmental risk exposure indexes. Participants from the capital district of each province were chosen via the simple random sampling technique and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. A total of 1315 individuals were included in a sample in this study, and the best predictors of booster dose vaccination were determined using multiple regression analysis. The results showed that a high level of environmental risk exposure occurred in the provinces with a high number of total days exceeding the limits set for PM10 and high rates of mortality for lung cancer. The number of COVID-19 booster vaccinations given amount to 43.4% of the population during the post-COVID-19 pandemic period. Our multivariate analysis indicated that individuals in the working age group (≥25 years old); those with higher education (diploma degree and above); full-time employment (government and private sectors); those with high monthly incomes (≥USD144.1); and those in areas with the lowest risk level of environmental exposure significantly contributed to the number of booster dose vaccinations given during the post-pandemic period. To summarize, the rate of COVID-19 booster dose vaccination acceptance in Thailand was influenced by socio-economic factors with environmental concerns. These findings improve our understating of both the global pandemic and how environmental exposure affects behavioral change patterns and could improve the effectiveness of post-pandemic management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons Learned from COVID-19)
15 pages, 1966 KiB  
Article
Educational Intervention to Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake in Rural Patients with Chronic Diseases: Lessons Learned from An Innovative Academic–Community Partnership
by Ranjita Misra, Brenna Kirk, Samantha Shawley-Brzoska, Daniel Totzkay, Catherine Morton, Summer Kuhn, Misty Harris, Mary McMillion and Elaine Darling
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21010071 - 8 Jan 2024
Viewed by 2073
Abstract
Background: The pandemic has disproportionately impacted rural communities with a higher burden of chronic disease and COVID-19 infection. West Virginia is a rural state with a high rate of diabetes, hypertension, and COPD, which are known risk factors for severe COVID-19 and long [...] Read more.
Background: The pandemic has disproportionately impacted rural communities with a higher burden of chronic disease and COVID-19 infection. West Virginia is a rural state with a high rate of diabetes, hypertension, and COPD, which are known risk factors for severe COVID-19 and long COVID. Yet, there is a significant hesitancy regarding COVID-19 vaccination uptake in the state. The purpose of this study was to use an educational intervention to increase vaccine knowledge and vaccine acceptance in rural patients with chronic disease(s) in West Virginia. This project used an academic–community partnership comprised of researchers, practitioners, community organizations, community-engaged partners, and patient stakeholders to increase COVID-19 health literacy and increase vaccine acceptance among rural West Virginians with chronic conditions. Materials and Methods: A quasi-experimental study design was used to deliver an educational intervention by trained Health Navigators using short videos to increase COVID-19 health literacy and address participants’ vaccine concerns. Eligibility included adults (18 years and older) who have at least one chronic condition. A statewide community advisory board (CAB) guided the development of the educational training curriculum and implementation strategies. An adapted version of the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) framework guided the development of the intervention. Health Navigators (n = 45) delivered the educational intervention in their local communities between November 2022 and October 2023 (project implementation is still ongoing). Intervention fidelity checks, an adaptable script, and a flow chart allowed tailoring of brief videos to address participants’ specific COVID-19 questions and vaccine concerns. A validated online survey, monitored by an online Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) database, assessed participants’ knowledge, perceived susceptibility, and vaccine intention. Results: Health Navigators delivered the intervention to 1368 West Virginians in 52 counties (59.2% women; 61.8% without a college degree). Participants reported living with an average of 2.1 ± 1.4 chronic conditions. The mean age was 43.5 ± 18.8 years. The majority of participants (81.2%) had received the primary vaccination series, and 63.1% had at least one booster. However, 18% were unvaccinated or did not complete the primary COVID-19 vaccine series. Discussions to improve vaccine literacy focused on how the vaccine was so quickly developed and protects against variants, addressing concerns related to the safety, short- and long-term side effects, and importance of vaccine uptake for immunocompromised individuals. Participants with higher concerns were more likely to be unvaccinated and to have not completed their primary series or boosters (p < 0.001). However, the educational intervention improved the willingness of individuals who were either unvaccinated or did not complete their primary vaccine series to get vaccinated (11.4%). Discussion: Our findings highlight the importance of vaccine literacy in increasing vaccination rates among rural patients with chronic diseases. Using the EPIS framework allowed us to reflect upon the challenges, ensure resilience during changing local contexts, and plan and implement a promising, cost-effective intervention in rural areas. Conclusions: This study provides insights into the need for tailored educational interventions based on disease status, which has implications for public health and patient care in rural and underserved communities. Academic–community partnerships can be useful for successful knowledge transfer for vaccine acceptance to reduce rural health disparities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons Learned from COVID-19)
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